7 instances when cricketers showcased brilliant presence of mind
Cricket is a sport which is popular for its on-field action all around the globe. Nowadays cricket not only requires strong physical strength and cricketing techniques but also a sharp mind as one of the pre-requisites of the game.
When the talk comes about the sharpest minds in cricket, one name that comes into everyone’s mind is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The man from Ranchi has proved his sharp intellect on numerous occasions. No one can beat this guy when it comes about taking rapid decisions on the field.
However, there have been several other instances where cricketers have proved their sharp thinking abilities on the ground. Let us take a look at some of those which have resulted in astonishing run-outs and jaw-dropping catches among other things.
The most prominent modern-day player from Pakistan, Misbah-ul-Haq is also known for his brilliant presence of mind on the ground. Misbah has always played the leading role for his side in all the formats of the game. Proving his knowledge of the game, he had once fooled the England side with his sharp mind.
During the test series between Pakistan and England, Misbah was at the batting crease facing the right-arm leg-spinner, Adil Rashid. At the time of releasing the ball from the hand, Misbah intended to play a sweep shot by figuring the ball from the hand. But as soon as both the wicket-keeper and the slip fielder started moving towards the right side to stop the ball, Misbah changed his shot towards the off-side.
Misbah changing his shot at the last moment tricked both James Anderson and Jos Buttler behind the wicket, which clearly states that he has one of the sharpest minds on the field.
#6 Tom Latham
The New Zealand team has always been known for having some brilliant batsmen and some top class fielders in their side. Brendon McCullum could be regarded as the best example of this statement. Baz possessed a rare combination of aggression as well as sharpness on the field. However, his teammate Tom Latham too showcased his sharpness while fielding at short leg against South Africa.
The 26-year-old New Zealander once stunned the whole crowd with his brilliant on-field presence of mind. Tom pulled off this miracle while fielding at short leg position during a test match between New Zealand and South Africa.
South African captain Faf du Plessis was at the batting crease facing the ball of the spinner, Mitchell Santner. Faf anticipated the ball early and tried to chip the ball on the leg side with smartness. But Tom proved himself smarter than du Plessis as he moved towards the leg side as soon as he saw Faf taking the stance. And then Tom grabbed one of the smartest catches in cricket history.
#5 Dwayne Bravo
Dwayne Bravo has always been one of the most athletic players on the cricket field. The fitness level of Dwayne is almost equal to Virat Kohli.
Along with West Indies, Bravo has also remained as a match winner for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Playing against RCB, he received heaps of praises after he pulled off the epic run-out of Virat Kohli.
During the match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, Bravo took the whole crowd with a shock after he dismissed Kohli.
Kohli tried to place the ball down the ground but Bravo managed to stop it with a brilliant field presence. However, just after grabbing the ball, he threw it towards the stumps at a speed of the bullet which resulted in an epic run out and shifted the momentum in favor of CSK.
#4 Steve Smith
Steve Smith made his international debut in the year 2010. Since then, he has never looked back. Before the ball tampering case, he was one of the cornerstones for his national side.
Steve has mastered his ability in all the departments of cricket. Even his fielding skills have helped the Australian side come out on top in several must-win games. One of the best examples of it is his brilliant catch to dismiss Fawad Alam during the Australia versus Pakistan series in 2014. Steve picked a stunner and stunned the whole audience to dismiss Fawad Alam.
He was fielding at the regular slip position (on the off side) during left-arm-spinner Doherty‘s over. On seeing, Fawad taking the chance to chip the ball behind the stumps towards the leg side, Smith immediately shifted towards the leg slip to grab the catch. Steve took a sensational catch, showing his brilliant presence of mind on the field.
#3 Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim has played the role of the wicket-keeper for his home side, Bangladesh since he entered in the cricket field for the first time. Along with it, he has been a match winner for Bangladesh with the bat. Since he took over the captaincy, he has taken his side to a whole new level.
Rahim is the perfect blend of aggressiveness as well as calmness in the field of cricket. He also has one of the sharpest minds which he uses to outwit his opponents. The incident of Matt Prior’s run out adds worth to this statement.
During the 2011 World Cup group stage match between England and Bangladesh, Matt Prior was at the batting end with Rahim behind the wickets. Matt tried a leg glance on a wide ball but completely missed it which created the chance for Rahim to do the stumping. Mushfiqur dislodged the bails and started appealing towards the leg umpire during which Matt remained shocked and left his crease.
As soon as Rahim saw Matt outside the crease, he immediately took the stump out leading to a hilarious dismissal of Prior.
#2 Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher made his international debut in the year 1997 during the test match against Pakistan. His cricket career ended in a very harsh manner as his left eye got seriously injured while wicket-keeping.
Mark was a gem in terms of wicket-keeping for South Africa. He was even nicknamed as Mr. 555 because of his number of test dismissals in cricket.
Once, while standing behind the stumps with Attapattu on the strike, Mark affected a brilliant run out creating a memorable moment of his cricketing career. While facing the off-spin of Johan Botha, Attapattu edged the ball towards Mark who easily took it and started appealing. However, during the appeal, the batsman left his crease and Mark immediately dislodged the bails even without looking at them.
This was one of the best dismissals of Mark Boucher's career as Atapattu had no idea when the wicket-keeper dislodged the bails.
#1 MS Dhoni
The name of MS Dhoni has become a very well-known one when the talk is about the wicket-keeping department. Currently, MS Dhoni is regarded as the best wicket-keeper in the world and he holds the record of the fastest stumping in the world as well.
Dhoni has the perfect combination of maturity as well as smartness needed on the field. He has mastered his art of remaining calm even in the toughest situations which makes him the best.
There are various instances which prove his presence of mind, out of which, the runout of Mitchell Marsh is the best one. During an ODI match between India and Australia, Marsh smashed the balls through the covers and signaled the non-striker for 2 runs. While taking the second run, Dhoni was not at the stumps to run him out hence he ran a little slower.
However, as soon as the ball came close to the stumps, Dhoni took the bails at a lightning speed which no one had expected. The gloveman proved why he is the smartest cricketer in the world through this trick which fooled Mitchell Marsh resulting in a fantastic run-out.